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More than 30 California children still stuck in Afghanistan

Afghan families walk by the aircrafts at the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Wakil Kohsar / AFP)
Afghan families walk by the aircrafts at the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

More than 30 California children are stuck in Afghanistan after they traveled to the country to see their relatives weeks before the Taliban seized power and were unable to get out before US forces left, according to school districts where the kids are enrolled.

Officials with three school districts — one in the San Diego area and two in Sacramento — say they have been in contact with the families who fear they have been forgotten by the US government. The officials say that some of the children were born in the United States and are US citizens.

Nearly all of the children returned to Afghanistan with one or both parents in the spring or early summer to visit relatives. The families traveled on their own to the country and were not part of any organized trips.

Many of the families arrived in the US years ago after obtaining special immigrant visas granted to Afghans who had worked for the US government or US military over the past two decades.

Some of the families told school district officials that they had made attempts to get on planes at the airport in Kabul but were unable get through Taliban checkpoints or through the throngs of Afghans surrounding the airport over the past two weeks. The US ended its evacuation efforts and withdrew its forces on Monday.

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